Bones are hardened tissue made up of calcium and minerals. They are responsible for movement, support, strength and the underlying structure of the body. Diseases can rob the bones of the essential nutrients they need and cause them to weaken and sometimes break. Other disorders can add too much calcium, causing excessive tissue growth and abnormalities.
Osteoporosis occurs when bone loses density. Bones are constantly changing. New bone is produced while old bone is broken down. As we grow, more bone is made than is lost so our bones remain strong. When we reach a certain age, the process reverses itself. Less is bone is created while more bone breaks down. This causes the bones to weaken and fracture more easily. Hips, wrists and spinal bones are some of the more common bones prone to fractures.
Brittle Bone Disease
Brittle bone disease, or osteogenesis imperfecta, is a congenital defect that causes abnormalities in the genes that produce collagen. According to Healthline.com, several defects can stem from these abnormalities. The degree of severity of osteogenesis imperfecta is determined by which gene is affected. A person has about a 50 percent chance of passing it on to her children. Brittle bone disease is characterized by bones that fracture easily. Some people might have a bluish tint to their eyes and in some cases, deafness is also a symptom.
Paget's disease is a bone disorder characterized by inflammation in the bone. It causes the bones to become enlarged and soft, weakening them and sometimes causing them to break. Almost any bone in the body can be affected including the femur, pelvis and skull.
Unlike osteoporosis, which usually affects women, Paget's is more often found in men older than 40 years of age. According to the Better Health Channel, it is believed that at least 3 percent of that age group is affected with Paget's disease.
Cancer of the Bone
Bone cancer starts in the bone. It is uncommon, but can begin in almost any bone in the body. Most cases of bone cancer originate in the long bones of the body. Osteosarcoma begins in the osteoid part of the bone, while chondrosarcoma begins in the cartilage. Primary bone cancer is cancer that originates in the bone itself. Metastastic cancer starts in other areas of the body such as the lungs or breasts and metastasizes to the bone tissue.
Hyperparathyroidism occurs when the parathyroid glands produce too much hormone. Excessive amounts of parathyroid hormone will cause the bones to release too much calcium, according to the University of Maryland Medicine. This causes the bones to become weak and can cause fractures. It can also lead to osteoporosis and other disorders that affect the bones.